Argentina to raise $11.7bn to finance holdout payoffs

GMT 12:15 2016 Saturday ,05 March

Arab Today, arab today Argentina to raise $11.7bn to finance holdout payoffs

Argentina's Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay (C)
Buenos Aires - AFP

Argentina's Finance Ministry said Friday it planned to issue $11.7 billion in new debt to finance payments to holdout bondholders who won their 15-year battle against the country.

"This is what we need to raise in order to end this problem definitively," Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay informed the Congress.

Prat-Gay was defending the government's deals to settle the claims of mainly a group of US hedge funds labeled "vultures" by Argentina which scooped up its bonds cheaply after its $100 billion default in 2001 and then sued for full payment.

Even after the funds won their case in a New York court in 2012, the government refused to pay, saying the so-called holdout bondholders should have joined the majority of the country's creditors in a debt restructuring.

But finding its access to global capital markets blocked by the court's decision, the new government of President Mauricio Macri has struck deals with the hedge fund holdouts and other bondholders.

Since beginning negotiations in January, the government has crafted deals to pay about $7.85 billion to holdouts, including $6.36 billion to those involved in the New York suits.

"If the agreements are extended to the rest of the bondholders, this would mean a new issue of $11.68 billion in bonds," Prat-Gay said.

Earlier the minister said that the country could raise up to $15 billion in new debt to cover all its current financing needs.


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